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OJ Neighbours Triumphs in Unified Robotics: A Year of Achievements

Robotics Scoreboard held by student

OJ Neighbours Elementary School has once again left its mark on the Unified Robotics stage. This marks their third consecutive year participating in the event, and their achievements continue to grow. From winning their division to receiving prestigious national awards, OJ Neighbours is setting a shining example for what can be achieved through teamwork, dedication, inclusion, and a passion for robotics.

Unified Robotics, hosted by Special Olympics Indiana, took place at Taylor University this year. The competition brought together 17 teams. What makes Unified Robotics unique is its commitment to inclusion – teams are required to consist of students both with and without disabilities. This philosophy fosters a supportive and collaborative environment for all participants.

Students placing their robot for competition

OJ Neighbours demonstrated exceptional skill, scoring an impressive 4,000 points over three rounds, securing victory in their division. The competition included six formidable teams, and OJ Neighbours showcased their prowess in model building, programming, and robotics.

What sets OJ Neighbours apart is not just their victories but also their commitment to nurturing young talent. The team, composed of seven fourth-graders, tackled the challenge head-on, constructing models, programming, and designing their robot.

Additionally, OJ Neighbours played a pivotal role in a pilot program for grades 1-3. The younger team, consisting of four first-graders and four third-graders, proudly displayed their models and programming skills at the competition, utilizing First Lego League Explore group equipment.

Young robotics team

The accolades didn't stop with their victory at Unified Robotics. OJ Neighbours Elementary School was honored with the National Banner for champion schools through Special Olympics. Meeting ten criteria set by Special Olympics Indiana, the school received this prestigious award, a testament to their commitment to inclusion and excellence. Notably, OJ Neighbours is the first elementary school in the state of Indiana to receive the National banner!

OJ Neighbours robotics team posing with banner

In a surprise announcement at the Unified Robotics competition, OJ Neighbours received the ESPN Honor Roll award. Given to only 40 schools nationwide, with a mere three being elementary schools, this award is a remarkable achievement. ESPN recognized schools that had received the National Banner, highlighting OJ Neighbours' outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the community.

OJ Neighbours Elementary's journey in Unified Robotics exemplifies the power of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity. Their triumphs in competition, combined with national recognition, showcase the incredible potential within their school community. As OJ Neighbours continues to inspire with their dedication to Unified Robotics, the future looks bright for these young innovators and their commitment to breaking barriers in the world of robotics.



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